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2018/04/24

PROFILE OF THE DRAGON FRUIT INDUSTRY AND ITS ASSISTANCE MEASURES IN TAIWAN

Dragon fruit has been widely popular in recent years due to its fast growth rate and great adaptability. The stable price lately has also led more farmers to take part in its production. In 2016, the total cultivated area for dragon fruit in Taiwan was 2,490 hectares with a production volume of 49,108 MTs, on which a value of US$ 95,513 was generated. The export volume in 2017 was 111 MTs, valuing US$311.770.

The current major challenges of the dragon fruit industry are the overly rapid increase of planted area and production volume. The prospect of joining CPTPP and the tariff lowering that follows are also drawbacks in the industry. To increase competitiveness, it would be critical to improve the quality, product safety, and overall marketing stability. Establishing quality production clusters, introducing superior varieties and techniques, assisting farmers in technique improvement with onsite demonstration sessions by Technical Service Groups are some of the ways to increase the share of high quality fruits and supply consistency. Other measures like promoting organic cultivation and TAP (Traceable Agricultural Products) system would make producers accountable for their products and in turn ensure fruit safety. This way domestic fruits can be better differentiated from the imports. In terms of export, dealers are encouraged to make contracts with farmers on later production that are managed on a registry system. In addition, facilities (equipment) throughout the supply chain will also see improvement for greater competitiveness.

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2018/04/24

CURRENT STATUS OF DRAGON FRUIT AND ITS PROSPECTS IN THE PHILIPPINES

Dubbed as “dragon pearl fruit”, “green dragon”, “dragon crystal”, and “strawberry pear”; the dragon fruit (Genus: Hylocereus) is native to Mexico and Northern South America. In the Philippines, it was introduced in the 16th century most probably through trading and exchange of goods by the Spaniards and the Filipinos. They are now found on six continents in Southeast Asian countries such as Malaysia, Vietnam, Taiwan, Thailand, Philippines and the Southeast Coast of China. Fruit growers in Asian countries may be ahead when it comes to cultivating dragon fruit but farmers in the Philippines are catching up in terms of technology and market development. The commercial production of dragon fruit started in the Ilocos region with a one hectare farm that blossomed into a multimillion-peso enterprise where its productivity was enhanced through the S and T intervention of DOST-PCAARRD Science and Technology Based- Farm (STBF), a technology transfer modality. The current area of production in the region is 200 hectares. The bright potential of dragon fruit spread so fast and there is already a total of 450 hectares planted to dragon fruit in the country.  With the developed packaged of technology, the increased productivity is realized during the regular and off season with a technology of using artificial light. But despite of this, there are still concerns on diseases, postharvest losses during transport and limited supply of fresh fruits during off season. It is now a lucrative industry with only few key players are engaged to produce good quality fruits due to high investment cost on a per hectare basis compared to locally grown fruits. Because of its production and economic importance, this fruit is categorized under a high value crop and showed competitive advantage for the local fruit industry. Therefore, the focus of this paper is to develop a technology chain and identify critical factors that can be translated into an Industry Strategic Plan (ISP) for Dragon Fruit in the Philippines for the next five years to reduce the production cost, induce resistance to diseases, and produce quality fruits to command better price in the export market.

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2018/04/24

THE ABILITY OF BIPOLARIS CACTIVORA TO CAUSE POST-HARVEST FRUIT ROT IN THAILAND AND ITS PREVENTION TREATMENT

Rotten flowers and fruits of dragon fruit, Hylocereus undatus (Haworth) Britton & Rose, from Loei Province, Thailand, were collected and isolated for possible pathogen(s) causing fruit rot. Rotten flowers habored six main species, Bipolaris cactivora, Cladosporium cucumerinum, Fusarium sp., Alternaria sp. and Colletotrichum gloeosporiodes. From fruits, there were three main fungi, B. cactivora, C. gloeosporiodes and Rhizopus stolonifer. The most frequently isolated species from both rotten flowers and the fruits were B. cactivora. Four representatives isolated from B. cactivora were ascessed for pathogenicity, parasitic fitness aspects including: spore germination time, incubation period, latent period, colonization ability and sporulation ability. The pathogen was confirmed morphologically and molecularly with 100% support from Neighbor-joining method and Baysian analysis, as B. cactivora. A possible disease cycle of the fruit rot disease was proposed to indicate the key infection targets for discussion.

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2018/04/24

INTEGRATED MANAGEMENT FOR POSTHARVEST DISEASES IN TAIWAN

Based on our studies, the major postharvest diseases of dragon fruit or pitaya (Hylocereus spp.) in Taiwan included anthracnose, Alternaria rot, Gilbertella rot, Fusarium rot, Phomopsis rot, Lasiodiplodia rot, and Neoscytalidia rot. Our results showed that fruits were infected either in the field, resulting in latent infection, or during harvesting and formed spots or rotten within three to 14 days postharvest. To control these postharvest diseases, especially against Gilbertella rot and Alternaria rot, disease managements in the field and postharvest practices have been developed and shown reduction of the two diseases during storage. The methods consists of bagging the fruits with water-proved bags 7 days after fruiting, spraying fungicides, such as Bordeaux mixture, cyprodinil and fludioxonil mixture, tebuconazole, and fluaziname, to prevent the pathogens from spreading on flowers or young fruits before bagging, and also treating matured fruits with non-synthetic chemical agents, namely TARI I and II. Furthermore, removing the diseased or non-diseased debris of flowers and fruits in the fields, which would be helpful to prevent the pathogens living as saprophyte, were found to effectively reduce fruit rot during storage.

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2018/04/24

POSTHARVEST HANDLING MANAGEMENT OF PITAYA (Hylocereus spp.)

Pitaya, dragon fruit (Hylocereus undatus Britt. & Rose) belongs the Cactaceae family and is native of mid and south America. Its major harvest months in Taiwan is from June to December. Red flesh pitayas are even harvested for nine months per year by lighting treatment, but production season are from July to November and requires short time for storage and exportation. Another disadvantage are that  peels on harvested fruits will will appear dry and old, and lower temperature with high moisture storage will induce fungal disease after being reheated to room temperature. In order to overcome these problems, dragon fruit growers should be concerned about  postharvest handling technologies.

Precooling is the first step after harvest. This strategy is essential and vital for storage and export. Room cooling is common and is a simple way to remove “field heat”. More efficient methods are Forced-air cooling and Hydrocooling. Within forced-air cooling fruits decreased 5-15 times compared to room-cooling. Hydrocooling is another novel method for precooling, but still needs to overcome water, energy, mico-organism and handling method.

Investigating the cold resistance of white-pulp pitayas’ field in the middle and south fields of Taiwan, whether it be summer (Jul-Aug) or winter (Oct-Dec), the fruits were found to be less divergent to cold resistance. On the other hand, disease which occur on the fruit peel within long time storage severely increased with lobgerstorage time, especially more if it was more than 3 weeks. The object of selecting packing materiasl to avoid chilling injury, non-woven fabric with PE bag( 24 holes with 0.8cm diameter) were used without chilling injury and had better performance for 20 days storage. The preliminary results show that fruits treated with active MAP (bags sealed after flushed with 3% O2 and 5% CO2), followed by hypobaric packaging and sealed package maintained better visual appearance after 19 days of storage at 5℃. In addition, MAP (1~5% O2 and 5% CO2) did not cause significant negative effect on fruit quality.

Quarantine treatment of VHT (vapor heat treatment) usually used for pitaya export to Japan there are no fruit flies. The process of treatment need 2.5-3 hours and the center temperature of fruit is more than 46.5℃ for 30 mins. After quarantine treatment, Differential maturity fruits were treated and quarantine treatment shows no remarkable difference. is the peel and pulp showed no significant change. VHT could also decrease the occurrence of disease during export transportation and shelf storage.

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2018/04/24

EFFECTS OF MATURITY, NATURAL ANTIFUNGAL TREATMENT AND WASHING TREATMENT ON POSTHARVEST QUALITY OF PITAYA FRUITS (HYLOCEREUS POLYRHIZUS)

Red fleshed pitahaya fruit (Hylocereus polyrhizus) is highly perishable, thus commercialization is rather limited. A study was conducted to determine the effects of maturity, natural antifungal treatment and packaging on postharvest quality of pitaya fruits. For maturity study, fruits were harvested at three stages based on color indices (Stage 1: green color with area between the bracts turned light red; Stage 2: 50% of skin turned light red; Stage 3: entire skin turned light red) and were then stored for up to four weeks at 5 ºC. Fruits harvested at full color stage were most superior in terms of appearance, flavour and nutritional quality after four weeks of storage at 5 ºC. However, storage life of such fruits was reduced to three weeks only, due to disease development. While, fruits harvested at earlier maturity stages which could be stored longer, were not able to attain the appealing skin color and eating quality as the full color stage fruits. The essential oils are reported to have some fungicidal properties against certain postharvest diseases of tropical fruits and vegetables; and unlike synthetic, they are safe for the environment. The effects of pre-storage treatment of Cymbopogon nardus oil at different concentrations (0.5, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 %) on quality of pitahaya fruits stored at 10 °C were determined. The untreated fruits served as control. Results showed that Cymbopogon nardus oil treatment at concentrations from 0.5% to 1% was effective in delaying disease incidence and extending storage life of pitaya for up to two weeks at 10ºC without compromising its quality attributes. On the other hand, higher concentration (more than 2%) of Cymbopogon nardus oil has resulted in some phytotoxic effects on fruits. For washing treatment study, fruits were treated with C: control (Unwashed fruits); T1: Tap water; T2: 125 ppm chlorine and T3: 1.5 ppm ozonated water. After drip drying, the fruits were individually packed with 0.04 mm LDPE plastic bag and stored   for 7 days at ambient temperature (25±1 °C; RH 65-70%). Results indicated that washing treatment did not significantly affect most of the quality attributes tested. Nevertheless, washing treatment using ozonated water offers a promising method in improving fruits appearance as no water soak formation developed on the flesh. Washing with 1.5 ppm ozonated (T3) water also has a potential to reduce ethylene production. Taken togetherpitaya fruits best harvested once the entire fruit skin turned light red; Cymbopogon nardus oil at concentration as low as 0.5% is a promising natural anti-fungal treatment for pitaya; ozonated water at concentration 1.5 ppm ozonated is a promising washing treatment to extend its storage life.

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2018/04/24

IDENTIFICATION OF COLLETOTRICHUM TRUCATUM CAUSING ANTHRACNOSE DISEASE ON DRAGON FRUIT AND THE EFFICACY OF SOME BIOLOGICAL TOOLS ON THE MYCELIAL GROWTH OF THE FUNGUS AND DISEASE CONTROL

One of the most severe fungal diseases on dragon fruit (Hylocereus undatus)(DF) is anthracnose caused by Colletotrichum gloeosporioides. During a disease survey on DF in March and December 2015, 50 isolates of Colletotrichum were recovered from DF in the main growing areas in the South of Vietnam. Based on the morphological characteristics of colony, color, appearance, shapes of conidia and sequences of ITS regions, C. truncatum was identified as another causal agent of anthracnose on DF. The favorable temperatures for colony growth on PDA medium were of 25 to 37ºC and the pH of4.5 to7.5. On the evaluation effect of seven fungicides, the result shown Difenoconazole, Propiconazole + Difenoconazole, and Azoxystrobin + Definoconazole were the most inhibitory to fungal growth at 50 ppm and 100 ppm, percentages of the inhibition was up to 83.75; 93.75 and 93.75 % respectively. Among three plant extracts of Impatiens balsamina, Pachyrhizus erosus, and Caulis opuntiae, the extract of I. balsamina at 2.0; 3.0 or 4.0% was the most efficacy on inhibition of mycelial growth of the fungus, up to 93.7%.The other PDA medium test using Streptomyces isolate TG12, TG 17, the result shown that TG12could control well C. truncatum up to 60.37% and TG17 to C.gloeosporioides at 71.33%. Under glasshouse and field conditions, the Difenoconazole, Azoxystrobin + Difenoconazole, Propiconazole + Difenoconazole and Impatiens balsaminaextract, Trichoderma and Streptomyces solutions could control well the development of C. truncatum on both lesion diameter and severity.

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2018/04/24

THE INTRODUCTION OF GAP AND QUALITY SYSTEM FOR PITAYA IN VIETNAM

In Vietnam, at present, the area for dragon fruit (DF-pitaya) is about 45,450 ha with a total production of 587,968 tons and the average DF area per household is 0.5- 1 ha. Unfortunately, producers of DF have seen prices of fruits decline since the product mainly are sold to local consumption or neighboring countries. Recent concern over food safety, returns from pitaya could be significantly improved if small growers and exporters can gain access to new high value markets in Europe and North America. This could be done if Good Agricultural Practice (GAP) programs are in place. The development of safe horticultural models and implementation of GAP (GLOBALGAP, VietGAP) are becoming exaggerated together with its importance in the food supply chain. VietGAP was issued by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) in 2008 and has become a priority and a compulsory regulation in fruits producing and market. T develop GAP, many topics need to be covered: (i) Field farmers’ benchmarking survey; (ii) Selection of a packer/exporter and farmer group for the Pilot; (iii) Development of the pitaya quality manuals for the farmers; (iv) The national personnel capacity building has seen practical GAP proficiency developed; there were three main production areas for pitaya in the Provinces of Binhthuan of about 24,191 ha with 430,120 tons, Tiengiang of 4,052 ha with 75,109 tons and Longan of 5,568 ha with 78,500 tons in 2016. By the year 2017, 10,083.5 ha had been certified for GlobalGAP/VietGAP. Of them, 9,700 ha from Binhthuan, 310 ha from Longan and 73.5 ha in Tiengiang province. In Vietnam, the quality systems for DF are formed from the central to local levels to manage production and distribution. MARD directs and gives policies to support the locals in producing DF under GAP standards, applying IPM on DF production in order to reduce the use of pesticides and inorganic fertilizers, together with the increasing use of organic manure. The crop is affected by a number of pests and diseases with diseases causing the greatest losses both in the field and postharvest. The major field diseases in Vietnam are canker (Neoscytalidium dimidiatum), bacterial soft rot (Erwinia chrysanthemi), anthracnose (Colletotrichum gloeosporioides, C. truncatum). In this paper, more related things have been discussed.

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2018/04/24

POSTHARVEST HANDLING OF DRAGON FRUIT (Hylocereus spp.) IN THE PHILIPPINES

Dragon fruit or pitaya (Hylocereus spp.) is an exotic crop introduced in the Philippines in the early 1990s. Locally known as “saniata”, the fruit has gained popularity in the country because of its health and nutritional benefits. The increasing demand for pitaya throughout the years and its reputation for profitability have encouraged more farmers to venture into its production. The crop is adaptable to local conditions and will bear fruits within two years after planting. Fruiting season starts early May with a peak during the months of July to October. The crop will bear fruit until November. Harvesting is done when the fruit exhibits a full color change from green to bright pink or red which is usually 30-35 days after flowering. Fruits are harvested using pruning shears and are collected in plastic crates before hauling to the packing area. Fruits are then sorted and those passing quality standards by the buyer are packed in fiberboard boxes or cartons for delivery to the local market. The fruit has a relatively short shelf life even at low temperatures and extending its marketability after harvest is one of the main challenges. Major postharvest problems include water loss and shriveling, decay, bract yellowing, and chilling injury. Being a newly cultivated crop, studies on maintaining the postharvest quality of pitaya and extending its shelf life is limited. Current researches are focused on shelf life extension using appropriate packaging and coating, delaying bract senescence, and chilling injury alleviation. Establishment of shelf life at different maturity levels, quality assurance protocol, and development of innovative products from pitaya are some of the potential areas for further research. Provision of postharvest facilities in dragon fruit growing areas must also be addressed to support local production.

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